Stay away from the seals, warns City of Cape Town after positive rabies case

A Cape fur seal. Picture. Kristen van Schie

A Cape fur seal. Picture. Kristen van Schie

Published Jun 10, 2024


The City of Cape Town (CoCT) is urging people to stay away from seals following a positive rabies case.

According to the City, the positive case was confirmed by the Western Cape provincial veterinary services after a Cape fur seal died last month.

“As such, the public must take extra precaution to stay away from Cape fur seals as far as possible, and to not, under any circumstances, allow their dogs close to these animals,” the CoTC said.

“This precaution applies to the entire Cape Peninsula coastline.”

Anyone who is bitten by a seal is urged to seek medical attention immediately and contact the relevant authorities. The CoCT said the same warning applies if a pet is bitten by a seal.

Last month, the City issued a warning of rabies after a dog residing in the Capri area of the Southern Peninsula died of the virus.

At the time, head of communications, Mary James, said the source of the infection was unclear, none of the dogs in the household had a recent travel history outside the province.

“Rabies is not endemic in wild animals in the City of Cape Town, with the closest wildlife cases in the past reported in the Paarl area,” James said.

“Recent investigations into reports of seals exhibiting aggressive behaviour in the City found no evidence of rabies infection in seals.”

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